How to Make Construction Employees Feel Valued

As the season winds down, make sure you're showing your appreciation for all of their hard work, today and everyday.

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The labor market is tough right now. Finding good employees is increasingly challenging which means it's more important than ever to show the employees you do have just how much you value them. It doesn't take extravagant gestures to do so either, simple things like communication and acknowledgment of their dedication can go a long way.

Studies have shown that valuing employees in the workplace can lead to some fantastic results. Employees who feel valued have increased motivation in the workplace, greater commitment and show greater levels of innovation.  Here are three easy things you can start doing today to help your employees feel worthy of their efforts at your company and in their careers. 

1. Provide Meaningful Work

Construction jobs are not known for being the most attractive careers out there. Still, there isn't much better feeling of accomplishment than walking in to a building that you helped wire or driving down a road that you paved. These jobs are meaningful to the communities they serve and the people who use them. Take time to remind your crews that what they are doing matters. 

Providing meaning will be different for each individual so it might be helpful to also highlight teams to help others understand the work each group or department does, whether through company emails and a newsletter or by talking about achievements during meetings. Look for ways to give meaningful work directly to your employees, like offering a project lead position to an employee who has expressed the opportunity to grow in their career. 

Growth can also mean little things like the opportunity to participate in training programs that can help crew members better complete and understand their jobs. We talk about training a lot and won't let up on it either because the benefits to providing these opportunities are endless. Investing in your team shows you value them. 

2. Communicate Clearly & Often

Communicating with your crew can be tough when you have several employees spread out over many miles or cities. Still, it's really important to keep in touch with your team members. While regularly taking time to say hello to employees and check in with them might seem like an unnecessary drain on your productivity, these interactions are actually valuable points of connection for your employees (and for you). They prevent your staff from feeling invisible. 

Employees often feel the most valued when spending time directly with a leader or manager outside of normal job responsibilities. Treat them to a coffee break or take them out to lunch to get to know them better and hear their ideas about the workplace. You'll be surprised at what you learn and how much you end up enjoying and appreciating those conversations too. 

3. Celebrate Achievements 

Research shows that most people who quit their jobs cite, “lack of recognition" as their reason for leaving—not boredom, frustration, or to do something new. If you’re not communicating, your people will make assumptions about how you view their efforts. And, you saying nothing doesn’t typically translate in their minds as ‘good job.’ In fact, it typically translates as ‘they don’t like me.’

There are numerous ways to show appreciation for both large and small results—a pat on the back, a sincere thank you letter, a small gift, or a monetary bonus. Here’s the important part though: employees will feel valued when the reward is on par with the result. An employee who creates a huge win for the organization won’t feel valued if the reward is small and seems insincere.   

As a business owner, you cannot demand that any employee feels valued. Still, you can provide all of things research reveals employees say they want from a leader; a company, and a culture, where they feel valued in their work.